So basically as the title says, building a new desktop and starting from scratch as my other desktop is a mid~ATX but AMD from 2 yrs ago (so not really a whole lot I can honestly that is worth transferring over like the graphics card). Currently I have the following items ordered [with respective info links included]:
Other items I haven't but am getting are Corsair Dominators (most likely 3 x 3GB Tri-channels), 2 graphic cards [which I'm saving last for the decision making process once I know how poor I am going to be after the other stuff] and Win7 pro.
A few things to point out also. The i7 I'm using is a 940 because I got it new for $170. Also the prolimatech heat sink is free and the HD is only $100 for a 320GB capacity (brand new as well) so I'm not trying to change out those 2 so I can use the cash flow elsewhere.
What I did need help on was a case and graphic cards that will allow for a good amount of air flow and still decent over-clocking. Its also a good time to note that I CANNOT use liquid cooling because of a roommate's pet that likes chewing on the cords. The only cases I've considered so far (while maintaining a decent budget under $130) are:
-COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1
-Thermaltake Element V VL20001W2Z
-Coolmaster ATCS 840
-Thermaltake Xaser VI VG4000BWS
I've also looked into a few cases from Lian Li but haven't found anything as price competitive. All the cases are refurb'ed models (and its not like a psu so I'm not really worried) and all of the models are $99.99 (which is why I'm going refurb'ed on this one). If anyone uses any of these cases w/out liquid cooling and has a similar setup for what I'm going for (yes plz assume over-clocking will occur but doesn't have to be the highest possible) any input you can give me with your experience would be honestly appreciated!!! I've heard good things with the Coolmaster Haf X of the group mentioned above. I just don't know if relying on air cooling solely will be enough. I do like the fact that on the Xaser VI the bottom half of the 2.5" hard drive cage is removable and I can add a 2nd fan there (and not having that cage would also remove any airflow hinderances for the front in-take). But yea still unsure on the cases and given a return fee will be 1/3 the price of the case, I kind of need to get this one right on the first shot. Since I'm running above the $1k easily, I'm trying to cut corners and save a bit without shooting myself in the foot and getting a crappy cases that doesn't do the job =/ Also if you have also any ideas of other cases I can use that might get the job done and still fall near to the $150 mark, I'm open to suggestions! Thx for the assist on this one!
Correction on a few things. Case from Coolmaster that is $100 is a Haf 932 (not Haf X 942) and 3 x 4GB of RAM. Haf X 942 will be about $200 but would still consider it if anyone has really positive experience using it and would perform significantly better than any of the models listed above. Thx again!